|Posted by St. Alban's Episcopal Church on January 12, 2022 at 10:10 AM|
Happy New Year sweet St. Alban’s Family! It feels a little late to be saying that, but I wanted to make sure to wish you all the best of new years! We all very much need it with yet another variant, Covid rising rates and services suspended again. The need for perseverance is more important than ever now to enable us to move forward with positivity, creativity, and flexibility. The last couple years have certainly presented us with our fair share of challenges and yet we continue to move forward in faith.
A very close friend of mine recently brought my attention to a recent Richard Rohr Daily Meditation from the Center for Action and Contemplation entitled “It Can’t Be Carried Alone”. It opens with what seems an obvious, yet profound statement of, “…we are transformed by our suffering-not by bearing it apart and alone, but by recognizing our universal connectedness with each other and God”. This seems as if it should be a known fact, but many times our first instinct with suffering of any kind is to face it alone. When in fact, we should seek out others and especially God when we traverse tough times. He goes on to say, “…the only way out of deep sadness is to go with it and through it.” He compares this to the words spoken during Eucharist of, “Through him, and with him, and in him.” Many times, I have read that our faith is often built out of suffering and reading this meditation it further solidifies the belief that through God, with God and in God, we can traverse the trials we face with strength and grace. As Rohr states, when we try to face our suffering alone, we “do not learn suffering’s softening lessons.” In other words, with God we can embrace the suffering and trust him to get us through it. His grace allows us the fortitude to face the trials that come before us and to soften our suffering. In addition, when we experience and live in his grace, we can be there for others and connect with them through him. We all face suffering, and it is in turning to God and each other that it is softened to get us through it.
In another chapter of Covid uncertainness, please always remember that you are never alone, and that God will get us through it. Each of us faces uncertainties, problems, perhaps even suffering every day and as I tell my children, it’s how we handle it that makes us who we are or rather it’s who we turn to for softening it to get us through it to be there for others experiencing the same. Thank you, God, for softening our suffering and giving us this amazing church family and others to go with it and through it. Amen.